|NITROGEN GAS TIRE FILL: WORTH IT?|
|Nitrogen is an inert, dry,
non-flammable gas that’s used by NASCAR racers, the aircraft industry, the
U.S. military, Formula One racers and others to inflate tires. So why do the
tires on a truck or the family sedan have “plain old air” in them? Well,
it’s probably because the owners didn’t know about nitrogen and the benefits
of using it instead of “plain old air”. Nitrogen is all around us. The air
we breathe is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen. When it comes to tires, oxygen is
the bad guy. Since tires became the standard on vehicles, they have been
inflated with oxygen. Nitrogen, however, is quickly becoming more and more
accepted in the automotive industry as a more effective alternative for
oxygen. Filling tires up with nitrogen has many potential benefits that most
people simply do not know about.
One major benefit, perhaps the most discussed, is the fact that tires inflated with nitrogen last about three times longer before the need for re-inflation. This is particularly helpful due to the fact that many people never bother to check their tire pressure. The benefits are endless; others include 50% less tire failures, better tread life, increased fuel economy, eliminates pressure changes in the tires due to temperature, reduced interior wheel corrosion, as well as many other benefits. Nitrogen is extremely beneficial to have in your tires and certainly has more advantages than simple oxygen.
|Although it may not seem to make a difference
how much air is put into a tire as long as it is full and the car moves, it
truly does affect many aspects of driving. Tires can be both under-inflated
and over-inflated, both of which can be detrimental for proper driving.
If the tires are under-inflated, there is much more contact with the ground which slows down the car, weakens the quick responsive handling, and has limited durability and life.
On the other hand, with over-inflated tires, the contact patch is smaller and thus there is less traction as well as over-inflation weakens the structural integrity of the tire as well. It is important to always make sure that your tires are at the proper pressure and are maintained and check regularly.
BENEFITS OF NITROGEN
|No More Rim Rust
since nitrogen is completely dry, condensation is eliminated which in turn eliminates rim rust.
Better tire pressure retention
Nitrogen migrates through a tire 3 to 4 times slower than oxygen. It may take 6 months to lose 2 psi of tire pressure with nitrogen compared to less than a month with oxygen.
Improved fuel economy
Improved fuel economy is a result of having the proper air pressure which lessens the rolling resistance. Under-inflated tires have a greater rolling resistance.
Extended Tire Life
With tires maintaining better pressure, tire life can be significantly extended.
Tire failures can be significantly reduced which reduces accidents, down time and costly service calls.
Removal of oxidation
Oxygen is a highly reactive element at high temperatures and pressures. Replacing the oxygen with nitrogen helps eliminate the oxidation that damages inner liners, belt packages, valve stem hardware, and expensive tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS).
Cooler running tires
Tires inflated with nitrogen run cooler than tires inflated with regular air.
Eliminating oxidation also improves the retreadability due to more flexibility in the tire casing. Less tire aging and tire cord rust could very well increase the number of retreadable casings and also increase the number of times a casing can be retreaded. Nitrogen doesn’t cause tire rubber to break down as quickly as regular air and with the elimination of oxidation, Nitrogen filled truck tires have often had 4 or more retread lives. Stronger casings = more retreads.
IS NITROGEN DANGEROUS OR HARMFUL TO ENVIRONMENT?
|Absolutely not. Nitrogen is an inert gas, which means that it does not support combustion. Further, Nitrogen is not harmful for the environment. Nitrogen is a natural inert gas that makes up 78% of the air we breathe.|
WHAT IF MY TIRES ARE LOW AND I AM NOT NEAR A NITROGEN SERVICE CENTER?
|It won’t harm your tires to “top them off” with regular air if necessary… but the more air you put in, the less benefit you’ll get from the remaining Nitrogen in your tire. It is important to get your tire re-filled with Nitrogen when possible.|